Czech Government grants asylum to 15 families from Syria
The Czech Government has agreed to grant asylum to refugees from Syria. Czech Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Bělobrádek (Christian Democrats - KDU-ČSL) announced the decision on Twitter on 14 January.
According to the proposal submitted to the Government, 15 families with children or a total of roughly 70 refugees who are momentarily in Jordan will be granted asylum in the Czech Republic. The Czech security services will thoroughly investigate them prior to their eventual resettlement.
All of the resettled Syrians should be provided with international protection in the Czech Republic in the form of asylum and complete medical and social assistance after they arrive. Should the refugees be interested, they will be able to remain in the Czech Republic permanently.
The cost of their resettlement will be covered by the Czech Interior Ministry. A special working group will be created for the ministry and the security services to work on the resettlement together.
That group should choose refugees appropriate for resettlement in the Czech Republic and thoroughly investigate them; it will also have the right to veto candidates for resettlement. Members of the working group will then also monitor the integration of the refugees into Czech society.
The Czech Foreign Affairs Minister, Czech Interior Minister and their German counterparts had previously called for such aid to Syrian refugees in a joint letter. Syria has been plagued by conflict and war for several years now.
According to UN reports, three million people have fled the country. Western states have pledged to receive up to 100 000 refugees from Syria.
Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) previously said at a meeting in Brussels that the Czech Republic is unable to take in thousands of refugees for security and technical reasons. He said the country could take in selected Syrian children who are ill and their families.
Chovanec said the Czech Republic wants to provide aid mainly to countries adjacent to Syria, but the opposition TOP 09 party believes the Czech Republic could take in hundreds of Syrian refugees. Czech doctors are already caring for the children of Syrian refugees in Jordan as part of the Government's MEDEVAC program.
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